As the Cubs wind down the 2022 season, we begin to really look forward to 2023. The feeling around baseball is that the North Siders will bring in some big names this offseason. Right now we take our best guesses at which key players from the current roster will return to the organization next year. Some predictions feel like a coin flip, while others seem more set in stone.
Note: Prospects on the 40-man roster who have yet to make their MLB debut are not included.
Willson Contreras: Yes
He is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career, and has gotten no extension offers so far. There is also the qualifying offer…which could make things interesting. It just seems that if the Cubs are willing to spend, they would not want to let their All-Star catcher walk. Optimistic about this one.
P.J. Higgins: Yes
The top level catching depth in the organization is pretty thin, and Higgins has done some solid work this year, while showing he can also play multiple positions. He has years of control, and it would not be surprising if he is back with the organization next year.
Yan Gomes: Yes
The team’s veteran catcher is under contract next year and will serve the same role.
Alfonso Rivas: Yes
His role with the team will most likely be limited to team depth and/or a bench platoon player.
Frank Schwindel: No
After tearing it up in the final months of 2021, he struggled at the plate this year and was eventually sent down to Iowa. The ship has probably sailed.
Nick Madrigal: Yes
He is under control through 2026 and was part of the significant Craig Kimbrel trade in 2021. Things could get complicated depending on what moves on the infield are made, but for now, count him in.
David Bote: No
He is under contract through 2025, though it is not a lot of money. Him staying as depth would not be surprising, but his offensive production has not been great over the past few years and eating the money could be what they decide to do.
Nico Hoerner: Yes
The team’s best player will be here, even if he has to slide over to another position.
Christopher Morel: Yes
His actual role going forward is a bit up in the air (it sounds as if they might be envisioning a super-utility, Ben Zobrist-like role for him), but no reason to believe he will not be here if he is not a piece in a trade.
Zach McKinstry: No
He has hit well in recent weeks, but things are going to potentially get crowded. Do not rule him out returning to the organization, but it feels up in the air after a small sample size.
Patrick Wisdom: No
The team’s best power producer has done more than we could have imagined since last year, but the days of the bridge are potentially coming to an end and the hot corner could be manned by a big name in 2023.